Christianity has uprooted many barbaric customs from the society of man. But some of those customs – praiseworthy from the pagan point of view, but shameful from the Christian point of view – are, even to the present day, like hidden corruption oozing from a supposedly healed wound. One of these customs is the unlawful kidnapping of maidens.
St. Basil wrote powerfully to one of his priests, after one such incident: “Do all in your power to find and rescue this maiden. Then, return her to her parents and excommunicate the perpetrator. Also suspend those who abetted him – including their entire households – from participation in Services for three years. Likewise, suspend everyone in the village to which the maiden was taken, where she was hidden or perhaps kept by force – so that all will know that a kidnapper should be driven away from them like a serpent or some other wild beast or common enemy, and that the abused should be protected.”
by St. Nikolai Velimirovich